Patricia MacDonald’s novels of suspense are consistently what we call “sure bets.” The characters are consistently believable and sympathetic and the plot always unfolds in unexpected ways.
In Missing Child, Caitlin and Noah Eckhart have been only married a few years. They met at the memorial for Noah’s deceased wife, Emily, who was killed in a hit and run accident. Caitlin attended the memorial to confess to the family that her brother, who has died of a drug overdose, was responsible for Emily’s death. But Noah and Caitlin hit it off and there just was never a good opportunity for her to come forward.
In addition to marrying Noah, Caitlin also became the stepmom for Geordie, who was just a toddler when Emily died. While dropping Geordie off at school for the Fall festival, he disappears into the bustling crowd of parents, teachers, and students in the gymnasium Knowing he is safe at school, Caitlin leaves for work, but later receives a unsettling phone call that Geordie never showed up in class. Immediately the police are notified and an Amber alert is issued, but as the days pass there are no solid leads into Geordie’s disappearance.
While Caitlin’s world is crumbling around her, so is her marriage. A friend from James’s past unexpectantly shows up, revealing Caitlin’s secret. Already distraught over his missing son, Noah is not too understanding of Caitlin’s deception and starts questing whether Caitlin had something to do with Geordie’s disappearance. Caitlin loves Geordie and thinks of herself as his mother, so she will do anything to bring him home, even if following the clues puts her own life at risk.
This is a sold and thoroughly entertaining mystery that fans of Mary Higgins Clark will quickly gravitate towards.